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St. Kitts award lauds its own

St. Kitts celebrated its tourism product recently with an awards event that honored individuals and businesses that positively impacted the development of the industry.

The “St. Kitts Experience” Awards was held at Carambola Beach Club and attracted many attendees, among whom were: Prime Minister Denzil L. Douglas; Minister of Tourism & International Transport, Senator Ricky Skerritt; several ministers of government; numerous individuals representing the St. Kitts tourism product; and professionals from the agricultural, manufacturing, and other tourism-related service sectors. The Legend of the Industry Award was jointly won by Earl Clarke and Pedro Douglas for their pioneering work in the island’s taxi trade from as early as the 1950’s and 1960’s. Clarke and Douglas are credited with forming the first taxi associations in St. Kitts & Nevis as well as their noteworthy contributions toward the development of the Federation’s taxi and tour operations and the development of tourism. Entrepreneur Maurice Widdowson was recognized for his commitment to the tourism industry with the Pillar of the Industry Award.

Widdowson, the visionary owner of the Caribelle Batik and Wingfield Estate is acclaimed for dedicating many years to tourism. He has a long record of giving back to the industry through associations and other voluntary and cooperative forms of service. General Manager of TDC Airlines, Elroy “Scout” Lewis, was presented with the Award of Excellence. Throughout the years, Lewis worked with several airlines including British Airways, LIAT and US Airways, as well as several chartered companies, contributing to the growth of St. Kitts’ tourism industry. Commenting on the tremendous expansion in the tourism sector, Lewis believes it is important to educate local people on the benefits of tourism. The Employee of the Year Award was given to Gillian Mills of the St. Kitts Scenic Railway for her willingness to go beyond the call of duty.

Her team work and her positive attitude also added to the long list of assets she is acclaimed. Allegedly, Mills is committed, diligent and enthusiastic worker who is responsible for tour development, sales, reservations, blocked space, settlements and tour operations. The Environmental Excellence Award went to the Frigate Bay Development Corporation for the management of public spaces including parks, beaches, roadside verges, ponds and the coastal area that reportedly has emerged a big attraction for night-time entertainment known as “The Strip.”

In recent times, environmental issues such as watershed, biodiversity management and maintaining the cleanliness and aesthetics of the Frigate Bay area have become some of the corporation’s additional responsibilities. Taking home the Achievement of Excellence Award was Serendipity Restaurant.

The dining establishment earned its distinction for demonstrating strong leadership and direction for the business, for providing comprehensive training for their employees and for continuously striving to improve customer satisfaction. Sunlinc was honored with the Pillar of Tourism Industry Award for setting high standards in the tourism industry.

That example is alleged to have positively impacted development and maintenance by corporate entities of their social responsibility to instituting programs that illustrates commitment to the community. The People’s Choice Award was presented to Rosevelt Taylor for his professionalism as an inbound tour operator who strives to exceed the guest expectations. Taylor enjoys meeting people from all walks of life and demonstrates his national pride on every tour he conducts, offering creative ways to see the various historical sites of St. Kitts. The Kittitian Experience Award went to Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, a beachfront restaurant located on the Frigate Bay Strip known for its tasty local dishes, Thursday night bonfire parties complete with a fire-eater, karaoke Saturdays and Sunday dinners. Described on TripAdvisor as a “cool, casual place to grab a bite” which offers “awesome lobster, good food, good prices and a great band,” it is a popular spot with locals and visitors alike. Royd Phipps earned the National Champion Award for expressing his passion for drumming. Joining the Department of Culture on January 1, 1999, he implemented the drumming program in several schools and performs as a lead drummer of the Okolo Tegremantine Arts Theatre. The “St. Kitts Experience” Awards is a uniquely Caribbean evening experience combining entertainment, networking and culinary enjoyment. The annual event is part of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority’s efforts to elevate service standards in the island’s hospitality industry and to encourage the development of uniquely Caribbean visitor experiences to enhance St. Kitts’ competitive position in the regional and global tourism market.

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